Inside AR Conference

Metaio Scales Augmented Reality, Releases New Research & Technology to Community

written by Jack Dashwood in AR General on 18. Oct '12

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Technology leader introduces only commercially available platform-independent AR software with SLAM and Continuous Visual Search

MUNICH & SAN FRANCISCO, 18 October, 2012- After observing a year of remarkable growth in the amount of Augmented Reality (AR) users, developers and business applications, Metaio announced at its annual InsideAR technology conference to over 500 attendees that it will introduce scalable and sustainable AR production methods in order to empower AR on every smartphone, including a unified, platform-independent solution and software development kit, a new and improved desktop publishing tool, and integration of camera technologies like continuous visual search and SLAM, effectively enabling AR on anything, anywhere. Metaio also unveiled the results of extensive R&D: Live outdoor augmented reality on downtown Munich, real-time object recognition and tracking flying at 10,000 feet; Recognizing and augmenting every image of a 100-page magazine with a mobile device; and instant, do-it-yourself augmented reality for entire environments.


Media Package: Videos – visit the insideAR Facebook page for images from the event

Available now in the new metaio SDK


SLAM from 1000 feet (~300m)

SLAM camera tracking is basically real-time object and environment recognition that allows for instant digital overlays in nearly any situation. When Metaio decided to integrate SLAM into its SDK, they wanted to benchmark it to make sure it would be the best available. So they did, from 1000 feet in the air. Notice as the Drone flies over the small town that the Camera automatically and gradually learns its environment, recognizing more and more of the town and terrain. The image on the right is a skeleton display of the feature points, showing how the camera literally learns and understands what it’s seeing. This technology is available today for no-charge download in the brand new Metaio SDK

Munich, the Augmented City “Test”

Metaio has fostered the idea of an Augmented City for the past two years – this year we delivered the first accessible Outdoor 3-D Augmented Reality demo. The new SLAM feature and Metaio’s award-winning Augmented Reality algorithms powered this AR overlay directly on Munich’s city hall. Day or night, now anyone can witness the famous “Glockenspiel” demonstration that normally only occurs at 11am.
Also, using complex geo-locational data for downtown Munich, Metaio added brand new line-of-sight Points of Interest (POIs). No more random floating billboards on the horizon that have no connection to reality – the new POIs combine GPS and real-world data to appear exactly where they’re supposed to be. This isn’t a research demo either- it’s an experience available to anyone with an Android or iOS mobile device using the free augmented reality browser app, junaio.

Outdoor Augmented Reality & 3-D Tracking

When Metaio augments something, it stays augmented. GPS is good enough to get a user somewhere, but not good enough to “anchor” 3-D content to a physical location. Metaio is working on a “snapping” algorithm that uses GPS to get close and then “snaps” the 3-D reference to the physical location to allow for tightly-aligned, life-like augmented reality. Instead of streaming the GPS data, the models are locked in, and they’re not going anywhere once they are.

100 Unique pages Augmented on the client, by Metaio

In 2009, it was difficult to augment a single page of a magazine in a browser on a PC with huge processing power. Today the Metaio SDK enables augmenting over 100 unique images, on a consumer mobile device, with no cloud necessary. And since it doesn’t rely on an internet connection, the augmented reality is instantaneous, robust and smoother than ever. Learn more about the new Metaio SDK at



Jack Dashwood
Jack knew that he was interested in Augmented Reality ever since he learned how to read at age 25. Fast forward and Jack now works at the center of the universe when it comes to AR: the offices of Metaio. How did he wind up here? We don’t know, but we have yet to find a legitimate excuse to get rid of him. In the meantime we let him work on the blog and run the Metaio US PR operations. When not talking and writing about AR technology, he can usually be found augmenting his reality by more traditional means down the local pub.

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